In the audio below, State House press aide Amos Chanda says it is unfortunate that Paramount Chief Mpezeni of the Ngoni people of Eastern Province failed to meet President Edgar Lungu on four attempts.

Last week, the Nkosi yama Nkosi blasted President Lungu’s leadership saying the Head of State was not willing to listen to traditional leaders. He also vowed that he would never go to State House again because he had lost interest in the government leadership.

“Chanili okalipa maningi, nayendako four times, okungo ninama boza. Kapena oganiza kuti tufuna kupempha Ndalama, situpempha ndalama seo yai. Tufuna kukamba chilungamo. Seo mafumu ndiye tusunga banthu, so ngati sofuna kuonana na seo ndiye kuti tionane naye bwanji. Mailo m’mawa akati yai mwenzolabila lini, koma ofuna lini kuonana naye. (What I am really angry about is that I have gone there four times, they keep telling me lies. Maybe they think I go there to beg for money. I don’t beg for money myself. We just want to say the truth. It’s us the chiefs who keep people, so if he doesn’t want to talk to us how will he (the President) discuss issues? Tomorrow he should not say we never told him because he doesn’t want to meet us,” warned Mpezeni.

“Manje sinizayendako futi. Kuchokela lomba, sinizayendako futi kusogolo kuja chifukwa chuoneka monga nunyengelela… nizao izo, neo niliye nao na nchito! Ndine okalipa maningi. (But now I have decided that I will never go there, no matter what happens because it appears as though I am going there to plead. It’s their fault; I don’t care about them now. I am very upset.”

But in an interview, Chanda told News Diggers that the Ngoni chief remained dear to the President, adding that the Head of State was not aware of the efforts by the traditional leader to meet him.

“On Mpezeni, I will be engaging with him. He may have used channels that did not deliver, that we were not aware of. At least I was not unaware, the President was not unaware, so I will be speaking with His Royal Highness. He is very dear to us and I will personally be speaking with him over that, to understand the circumstances that led to the appointment not being processed properly,” Chanda said.

Take a listen:

He said State House regretted the fact that Mpezeni was frustrated and forced to make strong remarks against the government leadership.

“His Royal Highness has a cordial relationship with State House and we regret what may have caused that and made him say the things he said. But I will be engaging with him in the course of this week,” said Chanda.